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Guidelines for media

Table of contents

General Information

Useful information

Organisation and telephone numbers
Background information

CoE Member States


The Summit will take place in Warsaw in the Royal Castle (Zamkowy Square 4), May 16-17, 2005.


Sunday, 15 May 2005
Arrival of the Media Representatives in Warsaw

Monday, 16 May 2005
Morning - “Family” Photo – Sala Wielka
10.15 - 12.45 - First Plenary Session
13.00 - 14.30 - Break
15.00 - 18.00 - Second Plenary Session
19.00 - Break

Tuesday, 17 May 2005
9.30-12.00 - 3rd Session
13.00 - Break

The final Press Conference of the 3rd Summit of the Council of Europe will take place on Tuesday, 17 May 2005 (this information is to be confirmed during the 3rd Summit of the Council of Europe).

General Information 

Media coverage

Except for the Polish public TV and radio crews (TVP, PR), no journalists will be allowed in the plenary room during the debates. During the first plenary session, accredited photographers will be allowed in for the first three minutes of the debate. In addition, photographers will be given an opportunity to take the usual “Family photo”. Both photo-opps are optional.

Press center

The Press Centre for accredited journalists will be located in the Royal Castle, Biblioteka Stanisławowska (Zamkowy Square 4). (Additionally a separate TV Centre will also be set up near the Press Centre).
Within the area of the Press Centre, journalist desks will be equipped with:
- headphones for listening to the proceedings (with a choice of language),
- PC computer terminals (Windows XP, Office Pro in English, USB ports) with broadband internet and e-mail access,
- sockets (ETHERNET, RJ45) to allow journalists to use their own equipment and to connect to the internet as well as, for audio and video recorders and computer equipment for radio and TV journalists,
- WI-FI Internet access.

Photocopiers, printers, booths with pay-phones and pay-faxes with international access, large TV screens with direct retransmission of the plenary sessions will be provided.

There will be 4 desks to help press representatives. They will be located in the nearest premises of the Press Centre and TV Centre and easily accessible to all media representatives. The Information Desk will be located in the Dawna Sień Poselska, The Internal Monitoring Desk as well as the National Briefing Desk will be located in the Dawna Izba Poselska. The Press Desk will be set up on the grounds of the Press Centre and TV Centre.

The Press Section of the Council of Europe will be located in the Royal Castle, Biblioteka Stanisławowska.

Other facilities for media coverage

- technical facilities necessary for media productions;
- an interview studio;
- a video editing suite;
- radio studios;
- satellite broadcast facilities and special vehicles (specifications to be defined by TVP and EBU (Polish public TV and the European Broadcasting Union);
- an internet link to be used as a backup for the transmission to Strasbourg in case of technical problems with the satellite link.

Rooms for press events

The following facilities will be made available:
- press conference room with interpretation facilities,
- rooms for national press briefings.

The press conference and the national press briefings will take place in 8 different rooms. 3 rooms for this purpose will be located in the Royal Castle – Sala Konferencyjna, Dawny Skarbiec Wielki and Dawna Cukiernia Królewska Druga. 5 more rooms designated for national briefings will be located in the Kubicki Arcades.

Interpretation facilities

Simultaneous interpretation facilities into six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Polish) as well as a passive one for Spanish will be provided in the Press Centre during the plenary sessions.


Completed accreditation forms with a digital photo/file attached (25x35mm, 150dpi, must include the name) should be sent via e-mail to The deadline is April 20th, 2005. Accreditation forms are also available at the official Summit website:

The following additional documents should be sent by fax to: +48 22 523 9002:
- a copy of the passport
- a valid journalist card
- a letter of confirmation from the chief editor of the relevant media organisation.

Accreditation centre

Passport and valid press card are required for receiving ID/badge in the Accreditation Centre. Accreditation Centre operating hours will be:

May 13th, 10.00 - 17.00
May 14th, 10.00 - 20.00
May 15th, 10.00 - 22.00

It will be located in the centre of Warsaw.

Detailed information will be available at

Identification system and badges

Each named ID/badge will be marked with a different colour and will provide an entry to specific security zones in the area of the Royal Castle.


Media representatives are responsible for finding their own accommodation and making necessary hotel reservations. All information is available at
Numerous internet portals concerning accommodation in Warsaw are available, amongst others:

Additional events

14/15th May
European Night in Warsaw
Place of the event: the Old Town area
For further information concerning this event please visit: (website will be open from April 10th)
or write to:

15/16th May
2nd European Youth Summit
Place of the event: Polish Parliament: Senat
For further information concerning this event please visit: (information in English)
or (information in Polish)

Useful information 


Bank opening hours are usually from 8.00 until 18.00.

Currency and credit cards

The official currency is Polish Zloty.
Exchange rate is:
1 Euro 4,0 zlotys (PLN)
1 USD 3,0 zlotys (PLN)
Recognised international credit cards are commonly accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants.


The electricity supply is 230 volts, 50Hz. Foreign appliances may require an adapter.

Medical service

First aid point will be organised in the Royal Castle. In emergency please contact Summit Organisers. Public emergency medical service may be reached by dialing 999 or 112 (mobile phone).


The taxi prices in Warsaw differ from 1,3 up to 3 zlotys per kilometer. The hotel reception will inform you on the telephone numbers.

Organisation and telephone numbers 

For all necessary information:

3rd CoE Summit Preparatory Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Amb. Jerzy POMIANOWSKI - Head of the Committee
Fax +48 22 523 81 59

Mr. Michał KLINGER - Deputy Head of the Committee
Tel. +48 22 523 90 83

Media Section:
Mrs. Jolanta Janek, Counsellor
tel. +48 22 523 89 46
E-mail: or

Press Centre
Accreditation Centre
Ms. Kazimiera Wójcik tel. +48 22 523 80 46
Ms. Renata Zieleniewska-Smentek tel. +48 22 523 81 72

Background information 

The Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is the continent’s oldest intergovernmental organisation, founded in 1949. It affiliates 46 countries. They are:

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, ”The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
Belarus has been a candidate member of the Council of Europe since 12.03.1993.

Five countries have been granted observer status with the Committee of Ministers (Japan, Canada, Mexico, the United States and the Holy See), and three more with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Israel, Canada and Mexico).

The Council of Europe was set up to:

- defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law,
- enhance citizens’ awareness of European cultural identity and diversity,
- pursue solutions to societal problems,
- promote democratic stability and sustain political, legal and constitutional reform across the continent.

The principal institutions of the Council of Europe are:

The Committee of Ministers composed of 46 ministers of foreign affairs or their Strasbourg-based deputies (ambassadors or permanent representatives). The Committee is the Organisation’s decision-making body.
The Parliamentary Assembly, grouping 630 members (315 representatives and 315 substitutes) from the 46 national parliaments and delegations enjoying special guest status. The current President is René van der Linden (Netherlands).
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities composed of the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions. Its current President is Giovanni Di Stasi (Italy).
The 1800-strong Secretariat headed since 1 September 2004 by Secretary General Terry Davis (UK)

Poland in the Council of Europe
Poland joined the Council of Europe on 26 November 1991. It was an important political fact at the threshold of the country’s constitutional and economic transformations which also inaugurated its progress towards participation in European institutions, crowned by accession to the European Union in 2004.
Poland’s membership of the Council of Europe enabled Polish citizens to bring their cases before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The large number of claims submitted by Polish nationals proves the importance of this body for the protection of human rights in our country. Some cases touch on problems stemming from the structure of the legal system. Therefore, the Court’s judgements serve as the engine of change in the legal system, a driving force behind all-round, systemic legislative ventures targeting the reform of the judiciary and re-privatisation laws first and foremost. Embracing the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights was of immense political importance for Poland both in the pre-accession period and when the country was joining the EU. For the Court’s jurisdiction covers the criteria governing the democratic system, the rule of law and respect for human rights which have to be met by EU members and candidate countries alike.

The European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a judicial body overseeing the observance by member states of their obligations under the provisions of the 4 November 1950 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In 1993 Poland became a party to the Convention upon accepting the Court’s jurisdiction. In 1998 the European human rights protection system was thoroughly reformed. Currently another reform of the system is being contemplated in view of the growing number of claims brought before the Court.

The machinery of claims is based on Article 34 of the Convention, under which an individual, group of people or non-governmental organisation is free to lodge a complaint with the Court for the abuse by a state-party of rights enshrined in the Convention. Several thousand claims are brought before the Court annually, most of which are rejected. The remaining claims are communicated to the state-party concerned in compliance with the procedure laid down in Article 54 of the Rules of Court.
All told, 534 claims were communicated to the Polish Government by the Court between 1994 and September 2004. In the same period, the Court issued 308 judgements on the claims communicated to the Government. The Court declared that there had been violations of the Convention in 137 of the cases submitted and that no violations could be established in 71 cases. It further struck 100 more out of its list of cases for reasons of the applicants’ demise or as a consequence of the settlements reached by the parties concerned. Some 90% of all judgements issued ascertained infringement of the rights of the applicants who had complained of excessively lengthy proceedings in, overwhelmingly, civil cases, with administrative cases also examined by the Court.

In 2004 the European Court of Human Rights communicated 66 new cases to the Polish Government. In the said period, the Court declared admissible 27 of the cases brought up and found another 7 to be inadmissible. The Court further held that the Convention had been violated in 74 cases, and had not in just one case. It struck twenty-three claims out of the list.

Poland’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
Poland’s participation in the Council of Europe has a 14-year history, but it was only on 10 November 2004 that this country’s representative for the first time became President of the Committee of Ministers. Professor Adam Rotfeld, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will continue in this capacity up till 17 May 2005.
During the six-month period, Poland has focused on addressing the most important challenges facing the organisation.
The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland has endorsed the following priorities of the Polish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe:

- Strengthening the unity of the European continent following the enlargement of the European Union;
- Strengthening human rights;
- Encouraging dialogue across national cultures as a pre-condition for tolerance and settlement of disputes;
- Developing local democracy and cross-border cooperation;
- Surmounting difficult problems raised by Europe’s past.

An essential element of Poland’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers is to be the Summit Meeting of the Council of Europe which will be bringing together the Heads of State and Government of the 46 members of the organisation, those of states with observer status, as well as representatives of other international organisations. It is scheduled for 16-17 May.

III Summit of the Council of Europe, 16-17 May 2005
The Summit crowns Poland’s presidency of the oldest European organisation. The event is of paramount importance, in that it is designed to set out new tasks and targets for the Council, define its relations with other European organisations and spell out its role in a 21 century Europe. The first two Summits were convened in 1993 in Vienna and in 1997 in Strasbourg, respectively.

The idea of holding the Warsaw Summit was raised by the Polish Prime Minister, Leszek Miller, during a July 2002 visit to the Polish capital of Mr. W Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council of Europe. The final decision in respect of convening the Summit was taken by the 8 July 2004 session of the Committee of Ministers’ Delegates (which includes ambassadors of Council of Europe member states to Strasbourg), instructed by the 114 session of the Committee of Ministers in May 2004. The member states agreed that the principal motive for convening the III Summit was the urgent need to define the place and role of the Council of Europe in a continent undergoing unification. In other words, mindful of the continent-wide political transformations sparked by, among other things, the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, the Council of Europe should lay down a precise definition of the areas and principles of cooperation between the EU and the OSCE. This is no easy task, bearing in mind the naturally overlapping competences of the said institutions, especially in the areas covering the stability of democracy, the rule of law and protection of human rights – of minority rights first and foremost. The decision to hold the III Summit was further taken in the belief that the Council of Europe, the only pan-European organisation of 800 million people, must get involved in building pan-European unity to prevent the rise of a sense of isolation in nations left outside the enlarged EU.

What we expect from the III Summit of the Council of Europe in Warsaw
The III Summit should demonstrate that Europe is both united and composed of democratic, free and sovereign states built on the foundation of law, democracy and respect for human rights. The meeting will also provide a forum for discussion on the role and tasks of the Council of Europe in a continent undergoing transformation, and on development of cooperation with other European organisations, above all with the EU and the OSCE. Member states must provide an answer to questions being raised on ways of improving the efficacy of European institutions while possibly taking advantage of their complementary remits and division of competences in order to avoid duplication of efforts. Some countries are all for a Council of Europe with a very precisely defined set of targets in the realm of human rights and promotion of democracy and the rule of law. Others would see the Council of Europe as a sui generis “European UN”, with powers to decide on all problems confronting the continent.

At present, a vigorous discussion is in progress on the Summit’s agenda with those taking part expressing hope for adoption of two documents in Warsaw, namely, of a Political Declaration and an Action Plan, the latter covering the important questions of pursuit of stronger democracy, security and human rights across the continent over the next several years, as well as prospects for cooperation between the OSCE and the EU. Work is well under way on two new conventions – against terrorism and trafficking in human beings, respectively. The drafts are expected to be completed on time for the conventions to be adopted during the Summit. Poland’s idea of launching a forum on the future of democracy has been approved on a preliminary basis.

CoE Member States 

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Czech Republic
Russian Federation
San Marino
Serbia and Montenegro
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
United Kingdom


The Holy See
United States of America

Special guests:

United Nations
European Commission
High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe